Ex RIMPAC 2018, the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise, wrapped up in Hawaii last week.
More than 1,600 members of the ADF took part in the exercise, which culminated in a major multi-national amphibious landing activity. The past month has seen gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air-defence exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, and mine clearance operations.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne said RIMPAC had tested and proven the ADF’s capabilities and reinforced its interoperability with partner nations.
“Australian forces have increased bilateral and multilateral skills alongside the US and other regional partners to foster a strong community built on shared interests,” Minister Payne said.
“RIMPAC sustains the cooperative relationships that are critical to maintaining international maritime security and ensuring we’re ready to work together when the time calls.
“Over these past weeks the ADF has proven not only its reputation as a professional military force, but also as a responsible member of a multi-national team, committed to maintaining security in the Pacific Rim.”
During the exercise, Australian personnel demonstrated capabilities ranging from humanitarian assistance and disaster response to maritime security operations and complex war fighting alongside peers from 25 nations.
During the exercise, a RAAF P-8A Poseidon from 92 Wing firing a live Harpoon missile for the first time, successfully striking a surface target and collecting important operational data.
HMAS Adelaide embarked US Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Vehicles for the first time and carried a record number of personnel from nine different nations, whilst HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Toowoomba successfully fired missiles against moving targets at sea in company with ships from the US, Canada and Singapore.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion RAR also tested their interoperability within a multinational amphibious readiness group.
The next RIMPAC is planned for the Hawaiian Islands in 2020.